For the Children: Two Valuable Books that Parents Should Read

Log College Press has recently added two books to the site which will be of interest especially to parents. 

The first is The Children of the Church, and Sealing Ordinances by Lyman Hotchkiss Atwater (1813-1883). First published in the Jan. 1857 issue of The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review, then reprinted in 1858, slightly expanded and revised, as a separate volume by the Presbyterian Board of Publication, this work examines the place of children in the church and their relationship to the two sacraments which Christ has instituted for church. This is an excellent little study for parents of children of the covenant.

"It is in Zion that the children of the Church are born to newness of life. Since He has promised to be their God, it is in training them as if they were his; as if it were alone congruous with their position to walk as his children in faith, love, hope, and all holy obedience, that we are to look for that inworking Spirit, and out-working holiness, commensurate with their years, which shall seal them as sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. This is what we believe to be the blessed significance and intent of infant baptism. This is what we have at heart in writing these pages..."

The author is described by Paul C. Gutjahr thus: "Lyman Atwater enjoyed a long career at Princeton College, serving on its faculty from 1854 until his death in 1883. Although his students fondly lampooned his pear-like shape, they considered him an outstanding teacher in his courses on logic and moral philosophy. He co-edited the Repertory in its various forms from 1869 to 1878 and contributed more than 110 articles to its pages, making him one of the most prolific defenders of Old School Calvinism in the nineteenth century" (Charles Hodge: Guardian of American Orthodoxy, p. 348).

The next book contains an introduction by Atwater, but is primarily the work of William Scribner (1820-1884) (Scribner was the brother of Charles Scribner (1821-1871), who became head of the publishing firm eventually known as Charles Scribner's Sons). It is titled Pray For Your Children; or, An Appeal to Parents to Pray Continually for the Welfare and Salvation of Their Children (1873). Divided into two parts, eight reasons are given to motivate parents to desire and pray for the salvation of their children, and a further eight reasons are given to stir up parents to further pray for God's blessings upon their young ones. 

The first eight reasons are listed here to whet the appetite of parents who love the souls of their children. (Read the rest of this book here.)

  1. Pray for the salvation of your children, because their salvation is so great a prize that it is worth all the pains which your prayers to secure it for them may cost you.
  2. Pray for the salvation of your children, because few will pray for it if you do not.
  3. Pray for the salvation of your children, because none others can pray for it as you can.
  4. Pray for the salvation of your children, because your omitting to do so will be perilous to them and to you.
  5. Pray for the salvation of your children, because you will then find it easier to perform other parental duties on the performance of which God has conditioned their salvation.
  6. Pray for the renewing of the souls of your children, because prayer alone can call into exercise that divine power in their behalf which is absolutely necessary in order that the means which you may employ for their salvation may not be used in vain.
  7. Pray for the salvation of your children, because by their salvation, granted in answer to your prayers, the divine Saviour will be glorified.
  8. Pray for the salvation of your children because you have a strong encouragement and incentive to do so in the express promise of God that, if you are faithful to your trust, he will be their God, and will save them.